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Housing market drawing shady operators

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“I thought, wow, that's really cool, a place for the Olympics,” he said. “I think everybody in Whistler is worried about accommodation during the Olympics.”

After going through a screening process via e-mail, the home was offered to Nelson and a friend. He agreed to a lease to the end of April 2009, with an option to negotiate to the end of April 2010.

But there was one problem — he was told the keys were in Miami and no one was in Whistler to show him the suite. Nelson was told he’d get the keys and lease documents only after paying for one month’s rent.

The owners would only accept payment via a Western Union money gram sent to Lucas Y. Adeyemo, Kim Craig’s assistant in Sango Ota, Nigeria.

It was here that things started getting murky.

“The more communication that there was between us, the more skeptical I was about the situation,” Nelson said.

When he contacted Kim Craig in Nigeria he said he was not comfortable with sending money to his assistant. He was thereafter directed to talk to his lawyer, a man named Richardson Moller, in the UK.  

“Everybody was spaced all over the world and it was just sounding worse each time I was talking to them,” he said.

It wasn’t until the week of Aug. 4, a week after first making contact with the owners, that he got Lane Craig’s phone number in Miami. He phoned her once and she said that she was having difficulty receiving international calls.

He then called her again and said, “Hi, this is Jesse from Whistler.” She hung up on him.

A Google search of Adeyemo’s name shows that a man of the same name, also from Nigeria, was implicated in a dog-selling scheme, according to an article in the Tri City Herald, a newspaper serving the Kennewick, Pasco and Richland communities in Washington state.

The article states that Adeyemo had offered up an 11-year-old English bulldog for free in a classified listing, but later asked for $300 to pay for shipping to the nearest airport.

On Aug. 8, Nelson received an e-mail from Moller, Craig’s attorney, with a lease agreement enclosed. The document was written in green, red, blue and black fonts and asked for $2,200 up front as the first month’s rent and a “good sign of seriousness.”

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